Skip to main content

Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

ii2                        BYZANTINE CHURCHES                        CHAP.
shortly before the Turkish conquest, c is found the body of the holy patriarch Arsenius, whose body, still intact, performs many miracles.'l
During the closing years of her life Theodora made the monastery or convent of S. Andrew in Krisei her home.2 To retire thus from the troubled sea of secular life to the haven of a monastery, and there prepare for the voyage beyond earthly scenes, was a common practice in the fashionable world of the men and women of Byzantine days. And it was natural for a wealthy traveller to leave at the port of call some splendid token of devotion and gratitude. The protovestiarissa was still an inmate of the monastery in 1289, when her friend the Patriarch Gregory, to whom she was bound by many ties, was compelled to resign.3 He was one of the most learned men of his time and took an active part in the efforts to reconcile the Arsenites. It was during his tenure of office that the body of Arsenius was brought to the capital, and subsequently transferred from S. Sophia to the church of S. Andrew ; he also opposed the union of the Churches, and in the controversy regarding the c Procession of the Holy Ghost' which divided Christendom, he vigorously defended the doctrine of the Greek Communion against Veccus, who championed the Latin Creed.
Strongly attached to her friends, and quick to resent any injustice to them, Theodora came forward in the hour of the patriarch's disgrace and offered him a refuge in the monastery of Aristina, which stood, as we have seen, near the church of S, Andrew and in the immediate neighbourhood of her own residence.4 It was a fortunate arrangement, for Gregory soon fell seriously ill and required all the sympathy and generous kindness which Theodora was able to extend to him.5 Upon his death, ten short months after his retirement, Theodora determined to show again her admiration for the man and his work by honouring his memory with a funeral befitting the position he had held in the Church.
1  Itin. russes, p. 226 ; cf, pp. 117, 135, x$i, 201,
2  Pachym. ii. p. 132,                                              3 Ibid, ut supra.
4  Pachym. ii, p. 133 ; Niceph. Greg. p. 178,    According to the latter historian, Theodora erected a special residence for Gregory near her monastery.
5  Pachym, ut supra.